Headline unemployment rate drops another half percent in September 2020.

The unemployment rate dropped from 8.4% in August 2020 to 7.9% in September.

Amongst the extremes we are seeing during the shutdown, that 0.5% drop is the smallest monthly decline since the peak in April.

Check out the extreme swings in the U-3 unemployment rate over the last 7 months:

  • +0.9% – March increase
  • +10.3% – April
  • -1.4% – may decline
  • -2.2% – June
  • -0.9% – July
  • -1.8% – August
  • -0.5% – September decline

That is a run-up of 11.2% in two months and 6.8% drop over five months, for a net 4.4% increase as of September.

Graph at the top of this post provides a visual of the U-3 and U-6 unemployment rate since the start of 2019.

For a longer-term perspective, consider the unemployment rate since the middle of 2007, which was shortly before the start of the Great Recession:

You can easily see the U-3 and U-6 unemployment rates during shutdown show an extremely sharp peak and sharp drop-off.

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